Last month, Southern Utah University put on a mental health resource fair in the Sharwan Smith Student Center Ballroom. There were a number of booths for different resources offered at SUU and in Cedar City, aiming to inform students just in time for finals.
SUU Student Association Student Life Enhancement Director Cathryn Fitzpatrick said she came up with the idea for the event after hearing students say they felt there was a lack of mental health resources on campus.
“We don’t have a lack of resources—we have a lack of information about resources,” Fitzpatrick said. “We are hoping to make this a semesterly thing to help students get the resources they need.”
She also wanted to ask students who feel there is still a lack of resources to add it to the feedback system T-Bird Squawks or to email her.
SUU Counseling and Psychology Services was discussed at multiple booths because of the wide array of services they offer to students. CAPS offers free group, couples and individual counseling sessions.
CAPS also has Support Peers, SUU seniors that work to support students experiencing mental health challenges. The peers can connect students to other resources, act as a listening ear, help set and track goals, accompany students to club meetings or events and hold individual and group meetings.
A navigating distress workshop is being offered by CAPS over Zoom at 1 p.m. on April 11. These will be workshops that focus on building a personal understanding of challenges and teaching coping strategies in a safe and pressure free environment.
One of the groups CAPS offers is an LGBTQ+ support group facilitated by CAPS counselors. This group is held Wednesdays at 1 p.m. over Zoom. Each week, they discuss issues such as coming out to parents, balancing academics and dating, relationship challenges, discrimination, adovcate burn out and more.
For more information about the LGBTQ+ support group, students can contact Blaine Edwards. For all CAPS services, students can see their website, email or call the front desk at (435) 865-8621.
“We are growing and expanding,” CAPS counselor Curt Hill said. “We will be adding more pieces to the mental health toolkit and are hoping to move our office to the center of campus.”
Another good resource for students is the SUU Center for Diversity and Inclusion located in the student center room 101-102. The CDI offers study and lounge space for students. They also have peer mentors called Beacons who are official CDI ambassadors who promote inclusivity on campus, can provide or connect support services to students and assist in event planning.
The CDI also has resources for undocu/DACAmented students and staff can help connect students with academic, career and financial advising. They also offer educational workshops and training on unconscious bias and effective allyship.
Students can learn more from the CDI through email, phone (435) 865-8761 or visiting their office. Details can also be found on their website. The CDI director, Donielle Savoie, can be contacted through email or calling (435) 586-7772 and the CDI coordinator, Landry Igiraneza, can be contacted through email or calling (435) 586-5413.
Canyon Creek Services and the SUU Title IX office were both there to share resources for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.
CCS offers free confidential services for victim advocacy, hospital response, housing advocacy, 24/7 emergency shelter, support groups and classes and education and prevention resources. They also have a 24-hour hotline at (435) 233-5732.
The CCS office is located at 535 S. Main St. #11. More information can be found on their website and by calling (435) 867-9411.
SUU Title IX protects students from sex-based discrimination which includes sexual harrassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. Students who have been victims of sexual harrassment or sexual assault can file a report with the office and they will conduct an investigation into the matter.
They also offer supportive measures to educate on, protect or deter sexual harrassment. These include counseling, course-related modifications such as extended deadline or modification to work/class schedules, campus escort services, mutual contact restrictions between parties, changes in work or housing, leaves of absence and increased security measures on campus.
The SUU Title IX office is located in Suite 111 in the Bennion Building. They can also be contacted through the website, email or phone at (435) 586-5419.
The SUU Health and Wellness Center shared that information about their upcoming events and resources can be found on their website.
Trula, a free peer coaching service, was also at the fair. They offer free confidential and virtual coaching sessions to help gain confidence, reduce stress, increase time management, nutrition, relaxation, sleep, movement and connection for all Utah college and university students.
They offer coaching via text, phone or video call and students are matched with a peer coach that matches their preferences of gender and time they said they were available.
The SUU Financial Wellness Office had a booth where students could get coupons to local businesses by following their Instagram. Information about their events like FAFSA nights and finance workshops can be found there.
This office can also help students learn more about budgeting, overcoming financial hardships and apply for scholarships so students can stay in school. The Financial Wellness office is located in Room 205 A&L in the student center.
The Southwest Utah Public Health Department attended with information about how they can help connect you to resources in Cedar City.
These resources had a large range and included housing, clothing needs, food assistance, medical/dental care, mental health, child support/protection, disability services, domestic violence resources, education, utilities and veterans services.
For more information on how the SWU Health can help connect you to these city resources, visit their website or call them at (435) 218-9059.
The Healthy T-Bird Coalition, a grant-funded SUU organization focused on suicide prevention and drug abuse, shared information about their upcoming events. They also discussed their goals to help increase the physical and mental health of SUU students.
April 6, they are holding a service project campus. April 18, they are doing a chalk the campus event to spread positive messages around campus. April 19, they are holding a meditation activity with the Health and Wellness Center in the Starlight Room.
More information on their events can be found on their Instagram.
The SUU Police and Iron County Victim Advocacy Services shared information about how to file reports and get information for victim advocacy. You can find more information on the SUU Police by calling them at (435) 586-1911. Victim Advocate Jaden Thomas can be contacted at (435) 590-1413.
Article by Callie King-Stevens
Photo courtesy of STIL